“In the 2009 season we actually intercepted 12 boats with quagga or zebra mussels.”
…just before they entered the water.
Kim Boyd is with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District. They’ve been inspecting boats at Lake Tahoe now for two-years. She says although Lake Tahoe is infestation-free, quagga mussels have been spreading quickly in southern Nevada’s Lake Mead reservoir and zebra mussels have been found in Central California’s San Justo reservoir.
“They grow very rapidly and they affect water quality. They out-compete natives and then they also block intake pipes for water purveyors. But they can also damage boats."
That’s why the district will be expanding its boat inspection program this spring to include Donner and Independence lakes and Boca, Stampede and Prosser Creek reservoirs.
The Truckee Meadows Water Authority will help pay for the extra inspections.
And boaters may have to chip in more. Boyd says inspection fees, currently ranging from $10 to $60, may eventually go up.